Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SHG: Dee Clark: "Raindrops"

Dee Clark: “Raindrops”
Entered the chart on: 5/22/1961
Peaked on: 6/26/1961
Weeks at #2: 1
Song at #1: “Quarter to Three” by U. S. Bonds

I’m at a loss on how to start this review. Clark is another one of those artists like Lloyd Price who’d been kicking around in some form or other since the early 50s who just had to bide his time until popular tastes caught up with him. This was his biggest hit...and his last top 40 entry. It’s also the first song here at Second Hand Goods on the legendary Vee Jay label. I know I’ve heard this before, but I’m not remembering it clearly except as an excerpt of the hook in one of those K-Tel or Sessions ads.

Might as well get on with the review, since I’m running out of stuff to talk about.

CRASH! Rain and thunder sound effects...are these the first sound effects since...when was that that we last had sound effects on SHG? Could someone click on the “sound effects” tag and tell me?

“It must be raindrops, because men ain’t supposed to cry.” Oh, Dee, did you learn nothing from Rosey Greer? Right, it’s 1961, a decade too soon for Free to Be, You and Me. This is another song of heartbreak, along the lines of “Greenfields” or “Only the Lonely.” But for whatever reason, this isn’t doing it for me. The production is fine, there’s certainly a lot of money lavished into the lush string arrangement here. And I like how Dee lets the soul overtake him during the emotional chorus (even if I take exception to its dated sentiment). But in general, his voice is a little too clinical for my tastes. We’re not quite in Johnny Tillotson territory, but we’re edging awfully close.

For period R&B, you can do a lot better. Meh.

Rating: 2

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